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by Tim Beissmann

Mitsubishi could launch a hybrid version of its Lancer Evolution XI by 2013 if word from automotive website Motor Trend is correct.

It says the new Evo will be built on the same platform as the PX-MiEV plug-in hybrid crossover concept from October’s Tokyo Motor Show and will combine the 2.0-litre MIVEC petrol engine from the Japanese Galant with a new lithium-ion plug-in arrangement.

It is believed the electric motor will be a more powerful version of the 47kW unit currently used by the i-MiEV city car, while the petrol powerhouse is expected to put out as much as 239kW. When working in tandem, outputs could rise to 260kW or more.

The Evo XI will be anything but your standard hybrid.

It is believed the petrol engine will not be the main power source. Instead the electric motor will drive the front wheels and the 2.0-litre will kick in to drive the rear when called upon.

This will give owners the option of driving in fully-electric mode – using no fuel and emitting no CO2 – for a short period of time.

The rest of the time you will probably be grinning wildly as you try to match the 4.5 second 0-100km/h sprint target leaked by a Mitsubishi insider.

“The new electric motor will effectively work like a turbo, only smoother, so there’s no need to worry about power delivery,” he said.

Given that the electric motor will deliver full torque from zero rpm, and given that it will have no turbocharger, turbo lag should be a thing of the past for the Evo XI.

In terms of other new tech and gizmos the 2013 version should get Active Steering and Roll Control Suspension – systems still under development at Mitsubishi. A new electronically controlled yaw control system that regulates rear-wheel torque distribution will also make an appearance.

Little about the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution XI has been officially confirmed by Japan, but if the speculation is correct, the new model will be one without peer or precedent.

(with Motor Trend)




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